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how are these german-american names? updated in first post

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

so me, american, and my df, german, have "decided" on names for our kids, that we have just started ttc'ing.
how do these names work in americna and german pronounciation? (edited for updates)

jonas william (prefer yoh-nass, can live with joe-ness)

mareike stefanie (ma-rye-kuh) nn meike, possibly spelled mika in the us

daniel graham

annika louisa

what do you think?

 

we are still not completely set on mareike's middle name, or on daniel as a first name, but we are pretty certain on the rest


Edited by bremen - 12/15/10 at 5:45pm
post #2 of 37
you gotta do what ya gotta do. we also seek german-english friendly names. for my daughter, we actually chose a name that requires to correct the german speaker pronunciation every single time. we love the name though, but only pronounced in english.

hopefully we'll have better luck this second time around. i like carsten and annika the most. what about torsten? my husband already vetoed that. roman? he vetoed that too.
post #3 of 37
All of these are good except for mareika. I don't think Americans will say or spell that correctly. The other choices are great!
post #4 of 37
We deciced on a name that is common in both languages, yet pronounced differently. It's not a problem though. DS has a nickname, Jona, which everyone pronounces correctly. DD will be named Eloise which is super easy for both families to say.

I only see troubles with Mareike for English speakers, and lemme tell you, Annika is my name and it gets messed up all the time. Most people call me: A-neeeeee-ka, which is totally wrong! I wish they'd say Annika the English way (like in Anne with no focus on the i), but they always make it out that weird way. Super annoying.
post #5 of 37
They are all beautiful names, however I don't think you will get many people pronouncing Jonas yo-nass in the US...I think the Jonas Brothers may have stuck joe-nass in everyone's minds just a thought
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
i am ok with jonas being pronounced joe-ness sometimes.
i know mareike will not be easy to spell, but i am worried more about the pronounciation.
it is like mariah with a k stuck in.
we don't know yet if we will be living in the us or germany, so that makes names so much harder!

i love torsten, but df vetoed it too.
does carsten sound like a girl's name to an american ear?
i think of kristen kirsten kiersten and wonder about it.


i am thinking with nn of yo, mika, and ani, they should be ponouncable enough.
i guess i am more looking for support than opinions.

really, i feel like americans are more adaptable to unusual names.
i lived in germany and switzerland for almost 4 years total.
the only times my name, rachel, was pronounced correctly were when other native english speakers said it
post #7 of 37
I think people are going to stumble over Marieke a lot. But hey, my sister has an extremely common English name and people have been mispronouncing and mis-spelling it all her life. That's why I had no problem going with names from dh's language. Doesn't matter what you do, people are going to mis-spell, mispronounce, and possibly question your judgement for picking the name anyway.


I loooove Jonas, and the pronunciation. Also Carsten.

I think with all of those names, the pronunciation will depend on the country you're in. People you know, you can correct the pronunciation, but others are just going to say what their mouth is used to saying.
post #8 of 37
I agree with the pp about "Mareike".

As for Carsten. To me it doesn't sound like a girl name but I'm German and I imagine a tall blond man in his mid 40s when I hear that name . Same goes for Torsten .

I love the name Jonas. I'd totally go for that one.
post #9 of 37
Jonas is my favorite, but I think it might be a losing battle trying to enforce the German pronunciation in the US. When he's a baby and you're the one introducing him always it will probably be fine, but once he's school aged and a lot of "introductions" will be through forms and attendance sheets and signing him up for things, I don't think that anyone will know not to pronounce it with a J sound. And kids differ: he may care and correct people, or he may prefer to have the "easier" version that he doesn't have to explain.

I also really like Annika.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I don't think that anyone will know not to pronounce it with a J sound. And kids differ: he may care and correct people, or he may prefer to have the "easier" version that he doesn't have to explain.
True. I know more than one Jorge (Hor-hay) who just gave up and answers to George.

And I work with a few Hispanic people who have names that are familiar to Americans but are pronounced differently in their countries of origin, and they don't ever correct people. Lucrecia and Hugo immediately come to mind.
post #11 of 37
I have a Biblical name which is fairly common in many countries, and I just answer to whatever the local pronunciation is depending on where I am.

If it is very important that the name should be pronounced close to the same in English and German, you could try Carl for a boy and Clara for a girl.
post #12 of 37
I taught at an American boarding school where we had a German Mareike for a year and once told how to say it, nobody stumbled over it. I think the sound is actually easy for the American mouth if that makes sense.

We're a Catalan-American family living in Catalunya and our kids are Joaquim and Ona. While people aren't sure what to do with Joaquim when they see it, nobody has had problems once they hear it... also, the nickname is Quim (Kim). I would be more worried about a name that has an acceptable but different pronunciation in English like Jonah. Annika would come out of my mouth as Ann-eeek-ah, probably from watching too much Pippi Longstocking dubbed into Spanish !
post #13 of 37
My niece's name is Annika (BIL is Swedish.) They do get the An-neeee-ka pronunciation once in a while. They also get Anne-i-ka. Sometimes it's harder for them to get across that the Ann part is pronounced "Onn".

We call her Anni (pronounced "Onni"). She's a little spitfire, and we adore her, so that's my favorite name of your choices.

I also love Carsten for a boy.
post #14 of 37
My son's best friend in class is an Annika. I've noticed that the kids have no problem with her name, but the adults sometimes get tripped up by it. I think it is lovely, though!


Mareike is nice - I think it is easy to pronounce,but agree that the spelling will be difficult for Americans.

I grew up with a girl named Carsten, so my first guess if I saw the name would be girl. I also think Jonas will get called 'joe-nass' more often than not. That said, I think they are both nice names!
post #15 of 37
It's funny how different people pronounce Annika because there is one in my town and she IS German and her family DOES prounounce it 'ah-neeeee-ka'. When I first saw it in writing I assumed it was "on-nick-uh"
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I have a Biblical name which is fairly common in many countries, and I just answer to whatever the local pronunciation is depending on where I am.

If it is very important that the name should be pronounced close to the same in English and German, you could try Carl for a boy and Clara for a girl.
i agree with this.
i also like astrid for a girl, axel for a boy.
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel_eva View Post
i agree with this.
i also like astrid for a girl, axel for a boy.
i loved astrid, until i heard an american unfamiliar with the name say it, and it sounded like *ss- turd.

i am also grateful to know that americans can pronounce mareike, even if they can't spell it. i am rather set on the name, so the baby we are ttc right now will be jonas or mareike.

i am not too worried about when the kid is in school, because our kids will either be homeschooled or go to waldorf school anyway.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bremen View Post

i am not too worried about when the kid is in school, because our kids will either be homeschooled or go to waldorf school anyway.
FYI unfortunately homeschooling is illegal in Germany, if that's where you end up. But Waldorf schools are abundant and not expensive.

Anyway, my name is Rachel too and I live in Germany and many people mispronounce my name and it's so annoying! We also had to choose a name for our son that was easy to pronounce and the same in both languages. It was hard because more than half the names we liked were ruled out that way. I love the name Jasper, but not the German pronunciation of it, so we made it DS's middle name.

As for your names, I agree Mareike would be hard for Americans (but it's a great name!). And Americans will ALWAYS use the hard J in Jonas, so if you want the German pronunciation forget it...unless you won't mind constantly throughout your son's life having to correct people. In fact that may not even work. I have an American friend here who's son is Milo, which in German is Meeee-lo. She got so sick of always correcting everyone, she gave up and most people call him Meeee-lo now and she's used to it.
post #19 of 37
Our good friends from Germany just moved over here and their names are Carsten and Annika (pronounced ohn-e-ka). We met them when we lived over in Germany. I had to laugh when I saw that both their names were on your list.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post
Anyway, my name is Rachel too and I live in Germany and many people mispronounce my name and it's so annoying!
Just out of curiosity, how do Germans pronounce your name?
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